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Summer Travel: How To Pack 2 Weeks In Your Carry-On

Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable. It is so incredible to be able to meet different types of people, and really embrace other cultures. Packing for a two-week trip can definitely be intimidating, especially not knowing what your trip has in store. What if it rains? What if we decide to go rock climbing? It can be so easy to over pack for summer travel, but also a total waste. Lugging around a big suitcase is not only difficult, but it pegs you as a tourist. If you want to blend in and carry your bag with ease, I seriously recommend carrying your luggage on. This way, you can skip the line at the baggage carousel and get to the exciting part, without fear that you look like a fanny pack-wearing tourist (even if you totally are).

Over the course of your trip, you should plan to do laundry at least once, halfway through. Even if you rinse your clothes in the sink (you could bring a few Tide PODS, or use soap and water) and hang them to dry, that’ll give your clothes a little extra life. With this in mind, you should plan to pack only the essentials: pants, shirts, dresses, jackets, shoes and accessories. Although I do not fully discourage packing bright, fun pieces, bringing casual neutrals makes mixing and matching a lot easier while traveling with limited options.

Now, how exactly to fit these things in your carry-on is a totally different subject. I find that rolling your clothing as tightly as you can makes fitting everything much easier. You could also invest in space bags and flatten all of the air out of your clothes. Either way, choose a method that works best for you, and remember that it will never fit back into the suitcase the way it went into it, so leave at least a little room for your trip home.


As pants can generally be worn more than once, bring 2-3 pairs of your favorites. Jeans are great, so I recommend bringing a pair of black jeans and a pair of blue jeans. Your third pair can be looser pants, such as harem pants or culottes, to give you a little more versatility. If your summer travel plans take you somewhere warm, swap jeans for denim or linen shorts.



It goes without saying that you definitely need to pack more shirts than pants. Bring 5-6 shirts of various styles that can be worn in multiple ways. For example, bring a flannel or a chambray shirt that can be worn normally or wrapped around the waist of a different outfit.



Throw 2-3 dresses in your bag to give you a few extra days of easy outfits. Because dresses are one-item outfits, they are good to have without taking up loads of space in your bag. You can wear a shirt dress, for example, on its own one day, and with a jacket and scarf over it another.


For all of those “what if it’s cold?” situations, bring a light jacket. Military, denim or leather jackets will work, and don’t forget to bring a light rain jacket if you’re headed somewhere rainy. If you’re running low on space and the jacket is particularly bulky, wear it while you travel.


When it comes to shoes, stick to three pairs. One pair for walking, one for dressing up, and a pair of sturdy flats or sandals. Wear one of your pairs of shoes on the plane, probably your walking shoes (sneakers), and put the other two between layers of clothes in your carry-on. Other accessories worth bringing to extend the life of your re-worn outfits include scarves, a purse, belts and jewelry.


For summer travel by plane, remember that you can only carry one quart sized bag of liquids. This means your shampoo, face wash, shower gel, makeup etc. all have to fit in 3 oz. bottles within that quart sized bag. When it comes to other non-liquid toiletry products, keep in mind that you do not need as much as you think you do. Hotels have blow dryers, so skip that and pack a flat iron, hair elastics, a brush and bobby pins instead. Pick your favorite eye shadow palette and leave your other colors at home, making sure you bring only your essential, everyday makeup products with you.

See Also

The Bare Necessities

You definitely do not want to forget these. If you are comfortable with the idea of washing your clothes halfway through the trip, you can get away with packing enough bras and underwear for the first week, then washing them at the midway point. Remember that you’ll be wearing a bra on the plane, so you definitely don’t need to pack more than two others in your suitcase. Also, a bathing suit may come in handy so remember to stick one in your carry-on as well. Even if you don’t end up using it, it is lightweight enough that it isn’t make-or-break in your already fully packed suitcase.

If you have any good tips for packing for summer travel let us know in the comments below!

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Featured image source:
Christina D'Ambrosio

Christina is a member of the class of 2018 at Fordham University. Her favorite things include french toast, concerts and "Sex And The City" re-runs.

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